TWO studies conducted by the government in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program-United Nations Environment Program (UNDP-UNEP) overlooked the values and full benefits of minerals development in two mineral-rich areas in Palawan and Samar.
The studies in Mount Matalingahan in Palawan and Samar Island prompted the exclusion of the two areas from mining, the potential of which could have helped boost socioeconomic development without compromising environment, Dr. Corinthia Naz of the Asian Institute of Management said.
The areas have since been declared as Protected Areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act and are among the 240 PAs in the country, which covers a total of more than 5 million hectares.
PAs are “off limits” to mining because of its highly extractive nature. Environmental groups said that mining, particularly large scale mining, causes serious damage to the environment.
Naz was among the resource person during the second day of the Mining Philippines 2015 Conference and Exhibition in Manila, where she presented on Wednesday her observation about the two studies.
Naz said the full benefits of mining were not presented in the Mount Mantalinghan Palawan Landscape study (MMPL) and the Ecosystem Valuation and Sustainable Management Options of the Samar Island Natural Park (SMOPINP) conducted by the government and the UNDP-UNEP.
The studies, separately conducted, sought to estimate the total economic values of the two areas.
Also a consultant for the Philippine Poverty and Environment Initiative (PPEI), Naz said the MMPL study gives poor actual-value estimates to a specific mining project due to high uncertainty about future benefits and costs, as well as potential of double-counting, such as direct versus indirect use of timber, forecasting and valuation errors due to unanticipated price changes.
More important, she said the potential benefits were omitted in the study such as the direct use values of, or rents for sand, gravel and nickel deposits; the mining projects’ Social Development and Management Programs, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programs, fiscal benefits, infrastructure and other advantages, such as reforestation and biodiversity offsets.
Mount Mantalinghan was declared a protected landscape in 2009 following the results of the MMPL study.
Read More: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/flawed-valuation-prevented-mining-benefits-to-reach-palawan-samar/